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The internal contradictions of feminism

Brown, B; (2015) The internal contradictions of feminism. The Hungarian Review , 6 (3) pp. 31-39. Green open access

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Abstract

One of the most striking things about feminism is the extent to which a body of beliefs based on notions of equality has produced new inequalities without hardly anyone seeming to notice. I particularly have in mind the inequalities between a rich, privileged female elite and the majority of other women as well as the growing inequalities between men. These are partly the consequence of changes in the employment market produced by a growing pool of female labour prepared to work for a lower wage because their priorities lie elsewhere. However, they are also due to changes in the structure of the family which have resulted from the way in which Marxist ideas have shaped feminist thinking and ensured that its impact on a rich, privileged minority has been quite different to its impact on others. I believe that this has happened because those ideas were based on a flawed conception of the relationship between the family and the workplace. However, it should be noted that the developments to which I refer are far more pronounced in Western societies than they are in former communist societies where relatively high levels of employment among women and somewhat greater access to top jobs meant that the motivation to develop a women’s movement was not as strong as in the West. I would urge caution on those women’s groups in Central and Eastern Europe who may feel tempted to adopt Western-style feminism: to do so would risk jeopardising the progress achieved since the collapse of communism by allowing some Marxist assumptions to be readmitted through the back door.

Type: Article
Title: The internal contradictions of feminism
Location: Budapest
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.hungarianreview.com/article/20150514_th...
Language: English
Keywords: feminism, inequality, private realm, men
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476845
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